Is ISO worth it?

Is ISO worth it?

September 9th, 2021 By Kaytieduffield

As a leading ISO consultancy, we’ve been asked a lot of questions since opening in 1994. However, one question that always seems to pop up is the classic, “is it really worth it?”. We get it; at IMSM, we’re enthusiastic about ISO, but we understand you may not be, and that’s okay because you are passionate about your business, and we’re passionate about ours. This dynamic is why partnering with an expert consultant can help you achieve your ISO goals and make sure ISO is “worth it” for you.

Working with IMSM allows you to work on your business alongside an ISO specialist, learning from them and leaning on their expertise, which could be invaluable to your business. Several seemingly small benefits accumulate into an extremely valuable system. Therefore, we’ve broken down the “Is ISO worth it?” question into the below sections:

  • Is ISO worth it for my business?
  • How much does ISO cost?
  • What is the ROI of ISO?

Is ISO worth it for my business?

If you’re reading this, the chances are you’re familiar with the many benefits of an ISO management system, but might still wonder, “is ISO worth it for me?” This answer depends on your company values and corporate goals, but an ISO management system standard is well worth the investment for most businesses.

Let’s turn the question back to you, “what is efficiency worth to your company?” what about being more quality-driven? With ISO, your employees and customers will see a significant, positive difference; so, what is that worth?

With an ISO management system standard, you can:

  • Better understand your business
  • Improve company operations
  • Improve your products and services
  • Improve morale and job satisfaction
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Earn more revenue
  • Save more money

How much does ISO cost?

If you understand the value ISO will bring, the next question you may have is, “how much will ISO cost?”. There are two main costs to consider when obtaining an ISO Standard. Firstly, the cost involved with correctly implementing the standard and then the certification cost.

The fees of an ISO implementation will vary depending on different factors, which is why it’s essential to understand all costs and commitments upfront. Working with a consultancy that includes document production, implementation and instruction will ensure you are fully supported and prepared for a successful certification.

At IMSM, we operate on a fixed fee based on the number of company sites and the employees you have. Because so many variables affect the price, it’s always best to speak to a consultant who can give you a fixed quote based on your unique needs. You can then be confident knowing the cost of the implementation will not change, and there will be no costly surprises.

The second fee you should be aware of is the cost of certification. This fee will vary depending on your country, certification body, size of business and standard or standards you need certificating.

Above all, ISO is an investment in your business. In some instances, implementation or training costs are covered through available grants and government investments, which you can discuss with your local specialist.

What is the ROI of ISO?

So now you understand the value of ISO and the possible costs, the next question in your mind is probably, “what is the return on an ISO investment?”. This answer usually extends further than traditional ROI; however, there are two primary ways to calculate your possible return on investment.

The first, straightforward way to determine ROI is if you obtained certification to win a bid or tender. It’s easy to calculate that, investment cost versus the contract value you will receive from having the certification. However, if you decided to implement ISO for other reasons, calculating ROI can be less straightforward.

To better understand, let’s break the benefits into cost savings and increased profit. Imagine a seesaw. On one side are your internal and external costs due to failures, and on the other side is the price of ISO. The expenses associated with those failures, such as faulty products, costly reworks, loss and waste, warranty coverage, and suffered business on one side, versus the savings if these mistakes didn’t occur.

In addition, by calculating possible cost savings, such as appraisal charges on physical products, system reviews, and preventative cost savings by stopping issues in the first place, you start seeing multiple layers for determining ROI. Then consider additional profit from new business, and the unmeasurable trust ISO adds to your brand reputation. Together all these benefits can help you identify your ROI potential.

A great way to think about ROI is that, on average, it costs your business ten times more to deal with an issue once it has reached the customer than if it had been discovered internally through audits and management processes.

Next Steps:

If you still have questions or want to discuss all the benefits of ISO, our experts can guide you through your ISO journey.


“It’s not a case of ‘the ISO has won us this’, it is a case of ‘we would not have even been in the game if we didn’t have the ISO.”

-Malcom M 

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